Are you tired? Pale, and not just because you’re getting less sun? Perhaps you have a fast heartbeat, or you’re feeling dizzy when you shouldn’t be?
All of these and more can point to anemia, which is a condition where your blood cells are lacking oxygen. Since blood cells carry oxygen everywhere in your body, it’s vitally important that you get this taken care of.
When not properly treated, anemia can get worse and affect every aspect of your life.
What Can Cause a Person to Become Anemic?
There are several reasons that a person can develop anemia, and some you might not even be aware of!
Heavy bleeding can often contribute to anemia. Women who experience heavy menstrual flow are often anemic, as are those who have ulcers in the stomach or cancer of the color can become anemic from a slow but steady loss of blood.
Another very common cause of anemia is iron deficiency, which is when your body can’t produce enough red blood cells. Iron is key to producing these cells with the proper structure. If your body doesn’t have enough iron, it starts producing shoddy cells that can’t carry enough oxygen.
Poor nutrition can often cause anemia as well. You may not be getting enough iron, folic acid, or vitamin B12 to produce the right amount of red blood cells. This is commonly seen in very strict vegetarians or vegans who do not supplement their diet with vitamins.
What Are the Signs of Anemia?
If you suffer from some of these signs, you may want to consider getting tested for anemia! After all, it’s very common – more than 3 million cases worldwide are diagnosed each year.
- Extreme fatigue and weakness are the most common signs. If you always feel run down or tired, it might not just be that you can’t “pull yourself together,” your body could literally not have enough oxygen.
- A fast heartbeat or shortness of breath could indicate a lot of medical issues, but you should get checked for anemia as well. Your body is working harder than it should be to provide you an adequate amount of oxygen.
- Cold extremities, like hands and feet, are a sign that you may be anemic. Your body isn’t able to regulate your blood properly, leaving you chilly to the touch.
- Brittle nails or hair, as well as pale skin, can all be signs which indicates your body isn’t moving the proper blood and nutrients around.
- Regular headaches, dizziness, or lightheadedness are also signs of anemia. Your body is struggling to supply oxygen – which is absolutely vital – to the most important places. Obviously, you’re going to be a little dizzy.
What Should I Do If I Think I’m Anemic?
If you suspect you’re anemic, consider contacting your doctor to get a blood test done. Testing for anemia is mostly painless and very important.
While your anemia could be something innocent like a minor dietary concern, it could also point towards a bigger picture like an ulcer or even cancer. Having a discussion with a professional about what to do moving forward with your anemia diagnosis is essential to getting your health back on track.
In the meantime, consider upping your iron levels – spinach, tofu, and broccoli are all great choices – and see if you feel a little more pep in your step!